Carpet collection fell by 10% in 2019, CRUK says

The UK’s carpet recycling industry association has released data for 2019 which has shown that amount of carpet collected in the UK has fallen by 10%, with the volume of carpet diverted from landfill also reducing.

The data released by Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK) didn’t include exact figures, but using last year’s data it would suggest a 10% fall in the amount collected would equate to 360,000 tonnes in total (see letsrecycle.com story).

Carpet Recyclers UK aims to divert carpet waste from landfill

Landfill

The data from the not-for-profit group shows the volume of carpet waste diverted from landfill in the UK was 158,577 tonnes in 2019, down from 175,252 tonnes  the previous year.

This would suggest around 201,423 tonnes of carpet was landfilled in 2019, equating to 56%, the same as last year.

The 44% landfill diversion rate would mean the group has failed to hit its own 60% landfill diversion target by 2020.

Change

The way in which data has been collected by the group has changed to include more information on carpet tile reuse.

CRUK said that by “capturing additional information such as identifying captured carpet tile waste as a separate stream and recording other end-of-life use where possible, it is able to provide more specific areas of information”.

The group claimed that “carpet tiles reuse has more than doubled”, but didn’t specify any numbers.
It said use in carpet fibre recovery was up by more than 50%, plastics recycling (from synthetic fibres) went up by just under 50% and there were “small increase in surfaces material for the equestrian market.”

The CRUK data didn’t detail how much carpet was sent for energy recovery or as RDF, but said this “declined” slightly from the 28% (114,000 tonnes) sent last year.

The data shows that the majority of collected carpet waste consisted of post-consumer broadloom carpets compared to carpet tiles of post manufacture waste.

‘Challenging times’

Commenting on the latest data, manager at Carpet Recycling UK, Adnan Zeb-Khan, suggested that the 2019 reduction in collected carpet waste is due to a number of factors, such as market uncertainty, additional taxes, lower sales, and the waste sector seeing reduced waste streams generated within the UK.

Mr Zeb-Khan said:  “For the last 12 years, Carpet Recycling UK has maintained its position as the ‘go-to’ body for information on outlets for carpet and other textile waste, facilitation of networking and information on sustainability within the sector.

“Our sustainable treatment of all types of waste in the UK is going to change – and carpet as a viable raw material resource will be a key part of that equation”

Adnan Zeb-Khan, CRUK manager

“Going forward, our sustainable treatment of all types of waste in the UK is going to change – and carpet as a viable raw material resource will, in my view, be a key part of that equation. We are facilitating the growth of sustainability for companies who are engaging with us ahead of legislation.”

UKWIN

Last year, the body hit back at claims from the campaign group UKWIN that the amount of carpets being sent to energy recovery were being hidden.

A UKWIN report claimed that almost 130,000 tonnes of carpet waste was being incinerated as a “huge cost to society”.

However, Carpet recycling UK explained that it has always been transparent about its achievements and has never “swept anything under the carpet” (see letsrecycle.com story).

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